John Terry has been a pillar of Chelsea football club for the past 18 years. Making his first team debut at the age of 17, the Chelsea captain has been an ever-presence at the club and has been captain during the most trophy laden years in the capital.
But now at 35, his best years are over and it remains to be seen just what might happen.
After not being offered a contract extension in January Terry said that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season. However, with new management coming in, there has been a complete turnaround. Terry has reportedly been offered a new one-year deal, with a ‘different role.’
Going on 36, he cannot expect to play every game at the club.
But there is no doubting his ability and presence in the dressing room. So should they keep him?
On his day Terry is still one of the best centre backs in the country. His ability to read the game is second to none, along with his commitment and desire to succeed for Chelsea. He is also massively respected within the dressing room and is an inspirational leader from the back.
Although this season hasn’t been great for JT, the statistics from the 2015/15 season would back up his ability. He played every single minute of a title winning campaign. You also cannot forget Terry’s ability to score goals.
The Chelsea man is the highest scoring defender in Premier League history netting 40 and has 66 goals in all competitions. What’s more impressive is that all of these goals were scored from open play, with Terry taking no penalties.
With Didier Drogba, Ashley Cole, Petr Cech and Frank Lampard leaving the club in the past four season the back-bone of their most successful ever squad has gone. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing when the team is going through transition, but now it is essential that Terry stays in order to help the new generation of central defenders which come into Chelsea.
He must also help find a new captain at the club and slowly distribute some of the influential power he has.
Although he is a terrific player, Jose Mourinho dropped him for a reason. The coach who has built a career on defensive stability made the judgement that Terry was no longer first choice at central defence. However, he did of course revive his Chelsea career.
Terry’s die-hard attitude and ability to read the game is brilliant, but there are weaknesses in his game. He no longer has the pace he had in his twenties, and at 35 is perhaps lacking the stamina to play twice a week.
As such a big personality and presence at Chelsea his effect on new or younger players can sometimes be negative. Similar to when Thierry Henry was at Arsenal, his presence, stagnated the development of other players.
If Terry does stay at Chelsea, there could be similar repercussions, with Kurt Zouma, or whoever they bring in, perhaps suffering as a consequence.
If Terry is to sign his ‘different’ contract, his playing time will no doubt be cut dramatically. Although he will know this, going from a first team regular to bench warmer can be problematic for players of Terry’s stature.
His unrest could have a negative effect on the rest of the team.
One of the best
With Antonio Conte coming in Chelsea will no doubt be a very different force next season. They will be heavily backed in the transfer market and are one of the favourites to claim the title.
Whatever Terry does decide to do; he will always be regarded as one of the best defenders the Premier League has ever seen.
Written by Edward Ware
Follow Edward on Twitter @wade_edward
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